Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Her Sandals -- She Meets Jesus and He's Drawing in the Dirt

This man they are calling Jesus tells them that whoever is without sin is to cast the first stone. I knew it. I knew I was going to die for it. Wait. What did he say? As I stand there, one by one the men begin to leave beginning with the oldest. I’m not sure if that is because they are wise or if it’s because they have accrued more sin. It doesn’t really matter. In the matter of a minute or so but what seemed like forever, all of my accusers had left.

It was awkward. Jesus stayed kneeling and drawing on the ground. Do I stay? Do I go? Do I say thank you? What does he want from me? What does he want in return? What is he expecting as his payment?  I wait. He stands up and looks me in the eyes…nowhere else, just in my eyes. I look into his face, and then he says,

Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

It was the first time anyone had spoken to me since this whole thing started, and he was being nice to me. I search for my voice. As I speak my voice is shaky. No one, sir. I wait for the other sandal to drop. There has to be something horrible coming because I deserve it. I hold my breath. If he hits me, I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry. My chest is heaving and heavy. My jaw is clinched.

Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin, Jesus said. Wait, what? He doesn’t condemn me either. I am so confused. He tells me to get out of that sinful way of living. So, what do I do? He smiles at me and moves on to speak to another group of people.

I leave the temple that day in complete amazement. I was condemned to die. I mean it’s laid out in the law. They caught me in the act of having sex with a married man. I was dead when they caught me. No one would listen to me. No one cared that I barely had any clothes on. No one cared that the man that had been my lover just slipped out unnoticed. They only wanted to make sure they had me. Grabbing me by my hair and arms, forcing me to go where I didn’t want to go, exposing me and my sin for everyone to hear, I really don’t think I could’ve gotten much lower. At one point I remember wishing that they would just stone me and get it over with. Then Jesus. That’s his name. Jesus. I’m not sure why they took me to see him to get his opinion, but I am so thankful they did. Not once did he call me those horrible names. Not once did Jesus use me or make me feel like I was dirt for the choices I had made. Not once. He looked me in the face. His eyes didn’t wander all over my body like I was a piece of meat. He saw me. He gave me something that I don’t know that I’ve ever been given before – grace. He spoke to me lovingly. He didn’t condone what I had done, but he also didn’t condemn me. All he asks of me is to leave that way of life. He didn’t want anything from me.

I was condemned to die, but he gave me life. I owe him my life. The least I can do is leave the way of life that caused him to have to save my sorry self. I can do it. I can.

I return home much to the amazement of my neighbors and family, and I tell them some of what had happened, and I tell them about Jesus. It’s the sweetest name I know.

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